The Lesson of the Broken Bottle


So, I had a broken kind of a week.

No new drama or crisis hit. It was one of those weeks where I lost sight of the bigger picture – or, actually, of my good good Father who lovingly crafts the bigger picture.  So I stopped trusting and pulled some “stuff” that has been coming on strong against me for a while out of God’s hands placing it squarely and only on my own shoulders – and it began to crush me.

And I allowed it all to almost push me to the edge…. Quite literally to the edge – actually. I’ve been open with my story and history of depression and thoughts of suicide. Let me just be real transparent and say there are moments in my life I need to stay away from large metro areas with really tall building. No worries. You don’t have to call 911 and put me on a watch or anything. When I crawled out of bed long enough to drive into the city earlier this week, my Good Father made certain that both buildings I had in mind had more secure access to their balconies than I had recalled. And I am well past the crisis point now. But – wow – was I ever a broken human! And trying to not to look broken in front of everyone I’m trying to be strong for shattered me even further. 

But now…. even though I’m past the most broken point of the week – I was still struggling this morning with quite a bit of shame and remorse about how I acted within that moment – even lashing out at those trying to help.

And I felt that my broken moment somehow diminished God’s glory in my life and His ability to use me. But then, as I was walking through the master bathroom this morning, I knocked the beautiful little bottle of fragrant oil you see in the picture off the side of the tub. The neck of the pretty antique bottle broke and it’s “head” rolled to the floor. (Thankfully, I am rather skilled at Super Glue repairs so I think I can fix it).

But even if I can’t repair the bottle – the lesson is priceless. I heard Holy Spirit whisper to my heart, “Tracy, does the brokenness of the bottle change the fragrance of what’s inside it?” 

I thought, “No, I actually can smell the fragrance now.” 

“Exactly!”

The brokenness of the vessel doesn’t change or lessen the power of the fragrance inside. The brokenness releases the fragrance to anyone who is near the broken vessel.

This timely little object lesson was a much needed reminder that:

Our brokenness does not diminish God’s ability to use us. Once we release our brokenness to Him, it deepens His ability to use us and further spreads His healing presence to the other broken ones.

It’s really not about us anyway. It’s about WHO we carry.

“Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.” -2 Corinthians‬ ‭2:15-16‬a MSG (The Message Paraphrase)

Transparently yours so brokenness can grow us,

Perspective is EVERYTHING


The thoughts below from Names of God (a 14 Day Devotional Reading from Rose Publishing) on the YouVersion Bible App was a much needed perspective reset for me! May your soul also be uplifted today as you wrap yourself up in the “foreverness” of your Maker!

Alpha and Omega

The First and the Last

The Hebrew prophet Isaiah wrote that God was there in the beginning—“with the first”—and He will be here “with the last” (41:4). In other words, God serves as bookends for history. What a comforting thought in a world where nothing lasts and everything constantly changes! The One supervising when the world began will be the superintendent at the consummation of all things.

The Bible emphatically states that nothing happens outside the purview of God’s sovereignty and power. Nothing happens without His permission or without His authorization. Nothing can thwart His eternal plan to restore all things to perfection. Saying the Lord is the Alpha and Omega is essentially saying this: If human existence were a movie, and we got to watch the credits, God would be listed as creator, writer, producer, director, and star. As the author, He’s the ultimate authority.

In the final book of the Bible, at the conclusion of history, Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega . . . who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. With that phrase, Jesus is essentially saying, “I am the whole story. I am the God of creation, the God of the Old Testament, the God that Isaiah wrote about, the God who has been here since the beginning and will be here evermore.”

Whatever is going on in your life today, here’s a fact you can cling to: The One who is the Alpha and Omega controls the outcome of this world as well as the details of your life. He knows where your story and His story are going, and nothing can alter His good intentions or perfect will.

The Alpha and Omega isn’t bothered by the past or worried about the future.

How does the idea of God having “the whole world in His hands” affect your mood and actions today?

Prayer

God, You are before all things and You are the end of all things. You are found in the person of Jesus Christ, from the first verses of Genesis to the very last verse of Revelation. I praise You, for You are uncreated, infinite, and eternal! Amen.

Bible References

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.”‭‭ – Revelation‬ ‭21:6‬

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.” -‭Isaiah‬ ‭44:6‬

‬‬“Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am He; I am the first, and I am the last.” –Isaiah‬ ‭48:12

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”” -‭‭Revelation‬ ‭22:13‬

Worship Soundtrack for this Reading


It’s Not Up To Me Because It’s Not About Me


A beautiful and freeing thought is resounding deep in my spirit this morning: It’s not up to me because it’s not about me.

“God is so passionately committed to having a people for his own possession who live forever for the praise of His glory that He is not about to let our eternal destiny depend on our native powers of willing or doing.” – John Piper

“In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” – Ephesians‬ ‭1:13-14‬ ‭

What God is telling us through these verses: “I have sealed you by My Spirit. Your inheritance is sure, because I am passionately committed to magnify the glory of My grace in your salvation.” (From the @YouVersion Bible App plan ‘Live By The Spirit: Devotions With John Piper’

Learning to live #ForThePraiseOfHisGlory. #GodsStory is #ForeverAndEverything and #MyStory is #WrappedUpInHIM. #AlphaOmegaSemicolon. AΩ;

Tap the picture hear the song that gave us these beautiful lyrics!

The True NeverEnding Story

My stops and my starts…. My failings and successes…. My fears and my faith…. All the pieces of my story – when placed inside HIS Story – are part of a beautiful and eternal Masterpiece.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” –Revelation‬ ‭22:13‬ 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”‭‭ –Ephesians 2:10

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” -‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬

Simply Stated


So today I started a new reading plan on the YouVersion Bible App, Your Personal Calling by Boris Joaquin.

And this one simple yet profound statement captured me….
“Our lives are about God; they are not about us.”

Because in the end, it is all about God anyway: “And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” – ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬ (English Standard Version)

Does that make us humans limited or subservient then? Not at all. Because the really cool thing is that this same God…. HE is all about us!

“How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!” – ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:17‬ ‭NLT‬‬ (New Living Translation)

A Call to Refocus in this Instagram World

So, after posting some God-given encouragement on Instagram this morning, I found myself distracted from the #GoodGoodFather I had been communing with just moments ago by obsessively counting likes on my posts. I was shifting from finding my worth in Him to attempting to ascertain my value from that! Thankfully, He intervened in my soul once again with these words:

“Place your full focus on Me rather than gazing at yourself. Don’t let even My blessings and the beauty I’ve placed in you distract you from the Strength and Hope I AM.  This can block my ability to flow through you to others in need of Me.”

Our Father wrote some words in the Bible a while back as a reminder for moments like these:

“[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].” Hebrews 12:2‬ ‭AMP‬‬ (Amplified Version) 

Let’s continue to listen to the sweet voice of our Father and become who we already are….